News story

Positive Progress on Metropolitan Police Service Checks

Update on improving processing times for DBS checks needing to go to the Metropolitan Police.

DBS checks delays at MPS
An individual completing a DBS check

Enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks have to be reviewed by police forces as part of the disclosure service. This is built-in to the time it usually takes to process your check.

We rely on the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as an essential partner in processing the enhanced level element of DBS checks. MPS handle a significant proportion of the checks submitted to DBS nationally.

In October we reported that DBS were supporting MPS to work through a number of issues to enable them to reduce the backlog of applications which, in turn, were causing delays in how quickly applications were being processed.

DBS and MPS have worked hard to resolve the delays in processing checks. In recent months the MPS Disclosure Unit has seen notable progress in appointing and training new staff and increasing efficiency. This has led to improvements in both performance and output and a significant reduction in processing times.

DBS checks are not simple administrative work. Staff at the police forces are making decisions about the disclosure of information that may involve a number of different police forces. These decisions directly impact children and vulnerable adults and those who seek to work with them. For this reason, the staff require significant specialist training and supervision.

We will continue to work with MPS and monitor this situation closely. Delivering excellent customer service is one of the highest priorities for DBS and we continue to work closely with the MPS Disclosure Unit to ensure that all measures put in place continue to make a positive impact on the experience of customers. It’s important to note that Enhanced DBS Checks can be sent to any force in the country for processing and nationally we meet our target turnaround time of 8 weeks for most customers.

If you have an application in progress with the MPS, and it has reached 60 days, we may have already escalated your application on your behalf. MPS are dealing with applications in strict date order. We’re sorry for any continuing inconvenience caused while we are making every effort to improve processing times as quickly as possible.

If your application is delayed with another force you can make a request for the police to escalate your application using online tracking, or call us on 03000 200 190 and we’ll contact the police on your behalf to ask that your application is considered for prioritising

Published 2 October 2015
Last updated 31 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. An update on improving processing times for DBS checks needing to go to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
  2. Added information about progress with applications at this police force.
  3. If you have an application in progress with the Met, and it has reached 60 days, we'll automatically escalate your application for you.
  4. First published.